Five-second rule may stand up to science

Food that is picked up from the floor a few seconds after it drops is less likely to contain harmful bacteria, according to a recent study.

The research, led by Professor Anthony Hilton, examined the transfer of common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) from a range of floor surfaces onto food. Contact was made from between three and 30 seconds.

The study found the amount of time the food remained on the floor affected how much bacteria had been transferred.

Carpeted surfaces were least likely to transfer bacteria, while laminate or tiled surfaces were the worst culprits, exchanging the most bacteria when in contact with moist food for more than five seconds.

Read more at Aston University